Very recently we received an email from someone who saw one of our commercials on TV and wanted to know how we could be in the business we are in, representing people who are “cheating the system.”
This is a question which has been asked of us in the past, and I’m sure is on the minds of many people when they see our advertisements. So, I saw it fitting to post this concerned taxpayer’s email on this blog, along with our response to him, hoping this will set the minds of everyone who reads it at peace with JK Harris and the tax representation industry as a whole.
Email from taxpayer:
I recently saw your company’s advertisement on television and a question came to mind.
Why should anyone, myself included, who have responsibly paid their taxes keep paying them if there are companies like yours that can get them off or reduce their tax liability?
From first impression, it seems your company is in business to help those who are cheating the system at the expense of the responsible taxpayers. Those who you help are still getting the benefits of the government services (military, highways, programs, etc.) but are not paying their share.
I’m sure there is a reason you can do this legally, but I don’t think it’s right we have to cover for those who are getting over on the system. Everyone should pay their share!
JK Harris response to taxpayer:
Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your concerns.
While I can understand your concerns, the first thing I would like to clarify is that JK Harris is not in the business of helping taxpayers who are trying to “cheat” the system. What we do is help taxpayers who are in a financial situation that is not conducive to them being able to pay the taxes they know they owe the IRS.
In fact, the programs we use to help these taxpayers are programs that are designed, governed and used by the IRS. For instance, the Offer in Compromise (OIC) is an agreement between the IRS and the taxpayer, and what it does is settle the taxpayer’s tax liability for less than the full amount that is owed. The IRS will not accept the OIC if it believes the taxpayer can pay the liability in full, whether in one lump sum or through a payment plan. The IRS only accepts the OIC if it is in the best interest of both the IRS and the taxpayer.
When considering an OIC, the IRS takes into consideration the taxpayer’s income; monthly expenses (rent, mortgage, utility payments, court-ordered payments, medical payments, etc.); any money in checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts, money market accounts and insurance policies; and any equity in vehicles and/or real estate. Based on these figures, the IRS then determines if the taxpayer has the capability of paying the tax liability. And if the OIC is accepted, the taxpayer must follow strict compliance guidelines, also set up by the IRS.
The important thing to remember is that the IRS set up these programs and regulates these programs and has the final say in who qualifies for these programs. Another important factor is that most of our customers come to us when something drastic has happened in their lives and an event has changed their financial circumstances. People who are getting divorced, had a death in the family, suffered a disability, lost a job, lost a large contract, or their business went, under are just a few of the reasons these folks need help.
The OIC program is not about what a taxpayer owes; it’s about what they can afford to pay based on their income, expenses, liabilities and future income earning potential.
Our company mission is to advocate for our clients and negotiate with the IRS based on the programs available to every taxpayer in America. We are not in business to help anyone get away with not having to meet their tax obligations.
Lastly, many of the folks we help are in real trouble. If they meet the requirements for the IRS programs, we help them and it relieves a lot of their trouble, and statistics show that the government ends up collecting a lot more money through this process than without it. And if an OIC is accepted, the taxpayer must be compliant (file taxes and pay any owed) for five straight years, or all the penalties, interest and principal return.
I hope I have cleared up some of the issues you have with the tax representation business.
Response from taxpayer:
Thank you very much for the in-depth explanation of your services and the circumstances which someone would need them. I understand them better and will now be able to help explain it to others who have the same concerns and questions.
Have a Happy Holiday & New Year!
We were hoping, after reading our response to him, the taxpayer would better understand our business and why we do what we do. I am happy to say I believe we accomplished our mission.